Yu Ji
Miss Shell, Delta, and Two Noughts

Extended until 8 Jul 2023

CCA Berlin – Center for Contemporary Arts is pleased to announce Miss Shell, Delta, and Two Noughts, featuring newly commissioned sculptures and video works by artist Yu Ji, marking her first solo exhibition in Germany.

Yu Ji’s work, which spans photography, printmaking, and performance in addition to sculpture and video, reflects on the artistic process and is shaped through the physical sites and conditions wherein it is conceived. Her recent participation in international exhibitions and residencies has led her to acclimate with transience, and thus to pose the question of how to remain faithful both to the material particularities of her practice and the sense of situatedness that animates it. How should an artist adjust to, and how can they locate potentiality in uncertainty? 

For a sculptor who primarily engages physical materials and tools, a stable workplace remains vital; that is how Yu Ji has worked for more than a decade. She now finds herself tasked with making do with what is at hand, entailing a sculptural process that remains committed to plaster, clay, or concrete as a basis but is increasingly reliant on sourcing and recycling materials from the immediate surroundings she is temporarily operating from. As CCA Berlin’s first artist-in-residence, she put together the different works shown as part of Miss Shell, Delta, and Two Noughts in situ over the course of almost three months.

Yu Ji’s interest in bodies and spaces, their schema and properties, as well as their mutual possibilities for expansion, is evidenced in the exhibited works—but also through the time and place of the exhibition itself, in which the artist engages as an operative studio and a processual ground. Objects will come in and out of focus throughout the duration of the exhibition at CCA Berlin, while others will assume a different form following the opening on 20 April. 

Featured in the exhibition are elements from Yu Ji’s Flesh in Stone, her long-term series of figurative concrete sculptures. The series is an expression of the human body’s distortions. It is composed of fragmented torsos and sexual organs the medical gaze would gender as male, though stripped of their supposed masculine properties. For these elements to take shape, Yu Ji produced casts from three women she met during her travels and asked to model for her. The sculptures are a mixture of white plaster and gray clay, half solid, half soft, and unfinished, emphasizing their fragility and incompleteness. The exhibition also includes a tabletop work titled Flesh in Stone - Ghosts NO. 8, as well as video experiments created with a homemade camera obscura.

The artist would like to thank Yve Oh, Diana Pfammatter and Siran Chen for posing as models for the sculptures.

This exhibition is generously supported by Sadie Coles HQ, London and Boros Foundation gGmbH, Berlin.

Yu Ji: Miss Shell, Delta, and Two Noughts kicks off CCA Berlin’s new program cycle, featuring longer-running exhibitions and newly commissioned works. This marks a departure from Pilot, dedicated to the presentation of existing works throughout the institution’s first year.


Yu Ji, Miss Shell, Delta, and Two Noughts, Installation view, CCA Berlin, 2023. Photos: Diana Pfammatter/CCA Berlin

Yu Ji (b. 1985, Shanghai) obtained her MA from the Department of Sculpture, College of Art of Shanghai University, in 2011. In 2017 she was shortlisted for Hugo Boss Prize Asia. Yu Ji has exhibited internationally with recent solo exhibitions including Against Shadows / 无视阴影 , Sadie Coles HQ, London (2022); Wasted Mud, Chisenhale Gallery, London (2021); Spontaneous Decisions II, Gallery 0, Centre Pompidou x West Bund Museum, West Bund Museum, Shanghai (2021); Forager, Edouard Malingue, offsite at Avenue Apartments, Shanghai (2020); Stones in Her Pocket, Project Terrace, Shanghai (2020). Current and recent group exhibitions include ATP The 10th Asia Pacific Triennial of Contemporary Art, QAGOMA Queensland Art Gallery | Gallery of Modern Art, Brisbane (2021); Soft Water Hard Stone, Fifth New Museum Triennial, New Museum, New York (2021); INCORPOREA 03, Basement Roma, Rome (2021); Interrupted Meals, HOW Art Museum, Shanghai (2020); May You Live in Interesting Times, 58th International Art Exhibition, Venice Biennale, Venice (2019). In 2021 Yu Ji’s first artist book, Wasted Mud, an extensive bilingual publication in English and Mandarin Chinese, was published to accompany her solo exhibition at Chisenhale Gallery. This year Yu Ji has been nominated for the prestigious Sigg Prize and her work will be presented in the upcoming Sigg Prize 2023 exhibition at M+, Hong Kong in September 2023.